Saturday, 29 November 2014

Scores Killed in Kano Mosque Blast

Scores of people were feared dead in a bomb blast at Kano Central Mosque, near the Emir's palace on Friday, witnesses and the spokesperson of the Military Joint Task Force in the state, Captain Ikechukwu Eze, have said.

Witnesses said the bomb went off as Muslim faithful prepared for Friday jumaat prayers, causing pandemonium as people ran helter-skelter for their dear lives.

The explosion, which went off at about 2 p.m. before the Imam of the mosque, Sani Zahradeen, began his sermon, was said to have been followed by sporadic gunshots.

According to the source, who was close to the Mosque, the deafening sound triggered pandemonium and stampede within and around the mosque.

"I personally counted 70 lifeless bodies inside the mosque and over 150 bodies were recovered from outside. The most painful aspect of the development was that most of the victims were children," the eyewitness, who did not give his name said.

Another source familiar with the history of the Mosque, said that there had been two previous attempts on the life of the former Emir near another Mosque that is about six kilometres away from the scene of yesterday's attack but wondered why nothing was done by the security agents to address the threat.

The eyewitness said that many children who accompanied their guardians to the mosque were trampled during the ensuing confusion.

It was learned that there was sporadic gunshots after the blast, while several worshippers fleeing the scene were felled by stray bullets.

The Friday blasts triggered riot in the city as people in major markets hurriedly locked their shops to ward off looting in the volatile city that has enjoyed peace after it came under attack by Boko Haram on January 20, 2012.

Ambulances were seen conveying bodies and the injured to the three major hospitals in the city, while most of the mortuaries were filled to capacity at press time.

The police immediately cordoned off the entire area while the mosque was deserted.

The acting state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Mustapha Abubakar could not confirm the casualty figure, when contacted, but said "We are still taking stock and official figure will be made available soon as it is ready."

He added, "We have restored order in the city."

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